Very little is known about the shape of the Earth during the Hadian era, which is characterized by the initial formation of the planet, the stability of its core and crust, and the formation of its early atmosphere.
In a study published Friday in the journal Science AdvancesAnd the Geochemists Working together from around the world reported that their analysis of billions of years old rocks from the Isua supracrustal belt – which contains the planet’s oldest known rocks – found chemical traces of magma Ocean.
Samples of 3.7 billion-year-old basalt rocks have been found to contain high levels of the heavy iron isotope, which were measured using Chromatography and comprehensive spectroscopy.
Researchers have identified Hafnium And the Neodymium Isotopes, in addition to rare isotopes of tungsten from the “ancient parent isotopes” that only existed for the first 45 million years on Earth, According to LiveScience.
“It was a combination of some of the new chemical analyzes that we had done and previously published data that informed us that the Isua rocks may contain traces of ancient materials. The hafnium and neodymium isotopes were really bewildering, because these isotopes are difficult to modify – so we had to look at their chemistry in more detail. The detail, ”explained Dr. Hanica Rizzo, co-study author and assistant professor at Carleton University.
Iron isotopes confirmed to the team that the Isua rocks were made up of parts of Earth’s interior that formed 4.5 billion years ago as a result of the crystallization of magma ocean.
They reported that the crystal remnants melted and mixed with other molten rocks as they moved to Earth’s upper mantle, carrying isotopes with rocks from both the lower and upper mantle.
How it surfaced is less clear, however Cambridge University Press Notes the catastrophic collisions during the formation of the Earth and the moon That would generate enough energy to melt the planet’s interior – which would eventually cool and crystallize – with isotope migration by Recrystallization and remelting.
Since then, tectonic shifts have resulted in the “recycling” of all rocks older than four billion years.
“Finding the geological evidence of the Earth’s previous molten state is very difficult. This is because the events of magma crystallization in the oceans would have occurred more than 4 billion years ago, and much of the geological record of that period of Earth’s history has been lost since then,” said the lead author. Helen Williams, professor of geochemistry in Cambridge, told Fox News on Saturday.
Additionally, because much of Earth’s depth was inaccessible, Williams and the team had to rely on nature to aid in their research, although it indicated that the chemistry of the volcanic rocks was vital to their conclusions.
“Our results provide tantalizing evidence of deep ocean magma crystals that formed at a time when the Earth was almost completely molten,” she said.
“Although the results of our research are very exciting, they raise more questions. What processes were responsible for the melting events that produced the Isua volcanic rocks? Were all ancient igneous rocks derived from regions of the Earth’s mantle containing residual crystals that formed during Cooling the ocean of magma? Are any of these materials still present in the Earth’s modern interior, and if so, could they explain the unique chemistry of magma that erupted in “hot spots” such as Hawaii and Iceland? “
“It is clear that there is still a lot to be discovered,” she said.